Development Days Conference 2023: Conflicts and Development Revisited — Prospects for Peace in Times of Emergency


Finnish Society for Development Research (FSDR) in collaboration with the Finnish University Partnership for International Development – UniPID and the Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Helsinki.


University of Helsinki

House of Science and Letters, Helsinki

Conference theme:

Amidst current turmoil, peace — an indispensable condition for sustainable and inclusive
development—appears on the retreat. Crises and conflicts amount: while the war in Ukraine stands out due to its intensity as well as its geopolitical implications, it presents just the most recent and prominent example of the complex entanglements of violence, destruction, food shortages, economic downturn and, above all, enormous human and non-human suffering. On-going armed conflict and various forms of oppression in virtually all parts of the world continue to deny a ‘good life’ to vast numbers of people and to future generations. Often under the guise of ideological, nationalist, ethnic or religious differences, these confrontations reflect economic and strategic interests. Conflicts over land, water and natural resources are exacerbated by the climate emergency and contribute to environmental degradation, violent displacement, and forced migration.

In many places, crises and conflicts correspond with a rise in authoritarian government,
securitization, militarization, the enforcement of old and the establishment of new borders, discrimination, as well as exclusion and marginalization of specific groups, furthering inequality and fuelling future conflict. Peace, together with democracy, social and environmental justice, equality and inclusion, remains a distant hope for many. Yet, perhaps more than ever before, peace is urgently needed in the face of enormous global challenges and a looming ecological and climate catastrophe.

Against this background, at the Development Days 2023, the Finnish Society for
Development Research invites researchers from development and peace studies and from
related fields, as well as practitioners and activists, to engage with the prospects for peace in this time which is marked by crises and potential catastrophe. How can we better
understand, redefine and re-enact the relations between conflict, development, and peace?
What role do development research and practice have in bringing peace (back) on the global agenda?

Given the Covid-19 situation allows, the conference is planned as on-site event. For possibilities of online participation, please get in touch with the Working Group convenors. For more information and updates, please visit the conference website or contact for any queries.